John Deere retains top slot in tractor sales figures

John Deere has retained its position as the UK’s favourite tractor brand, according to data released by the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA).

The figures reveal John Deere sold 3,800 units in 2019, capturing 28.1% of the market for road-registered units.

Sales were down on 2018 levels of 4,040 units when John Deere tractors accounted for 30.1% of the market share – though 2019 figures cannot be directly compared to previous years’ (see “Data complications”).

See also: 2020 tractor sales see lift after Covid and weather slow market

Data complications

AEA economist Steven Howarth warned that year-on-year comparisons are complicated by the timing of pre-registrationsthat affect the number of sales in any one year.

Waters are muddied further with some manufacturers opting to pre-register more units than their competitors.

Figures for 2019 were also calculated slightly differently from previous years. In the past, any tractors sold were included, but the AEA adopted a standard where only road-registered units were included for the 2019 sales period.

Case New Holland (CNH) held on to the second spot with a total of 3,518 units sold, giving the manufacturer a 26.0% share.

Broken-down figures for CNH’s two brands show New Holland shifted 2,314 tractors – 17.1% of the market – while Case IH sold 1,204 units – a share of 8.9%.

Year-earlier results suggest that is a decline from 2018, when UK farmers bought 4,031 CNH units.

Agco took 24.1% of the market, bucking the downward sales trends with a total of 3,335 units sold across its three brands, Massey Ferguson (MF), Fendt and Valtra.

That was an improvement on 2018, when it saw a dip in sales to 2,937 units.


Of the three Agco brands, MF outperformed its sibling rivals, with sales up from 1,348 in 2018 to 1,665 (12.3% share) in 2019.

Fendt sold 921 tractors with 6.8% share of the market – an almost identical figure to year-earlier sales of 924 (6.9% of the market).

Below the top three manufacturing corporations both Kubota and Claas captured more market share in 2019.

Kubota sales rose from 746 units in 2018 at 5.6% of the market to 6.5% with 887 tractors sold in 2019.

Claas saw the biggest jump in sales over the two years with a rise of 47%, taking units shifted from 528 in 2018 to 778 in the following 12-month period.

It now accounts for 5.7% of the market.


Overall tractor sales in 2019 were relatively stable compared with the previous year. However, the static performance marked the end of four years of rising sales.

AEA economist Steven Howarth blamed a combination of Brexit uncertainty, which had undermined buyer confidence, and appalling autumn weather.

Heavy rain during the main drilling period meant many farms had to abandon fieldwork and this blunted demand for units in late 2019.   

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